Wednesday, April 3, 2013

“Heated, Concentrated, Sweetened”

      I purchased a food dehydrator a number of years ago, mainly for the purpose of drying fruits.  We enjoyed apples, strawberries, pineapples and other fruits for awhile, but like many kitchen gadgets, the dehydrator ended up stored away in a cabinet until recently, when our eldest daughter Marie asked if she could use it. 

    This led to my own personal rediscovery of the dehydrator, particularly regarding pineapple.  I find it really interesting that a relatively unsweet version of this fruit (as are many pineapples sold in grocery stores) becomes very sweet once proper amounts of heat are applied to it over proper amounts of time.  As the water evaporates, the sugar in a pineapple concentrates.  It literally becomes like a particularly delicious candy, and no, by the way, this message does not mean that I have signed a contract to endorse or promote food dehydrators!

    I actually write because a vital spiritual principle shines forth from the truth of properly applied heat over proper amounts of time.

    “Glorify ye the LORD in the fires” (Isaiah 24:15).

     If the sweetness of the Lord Jesus Christ is to concentrate within us, as it were, and if we are to be a blessing of such sweetness to others, heat must be applied, in proper measure, over proper amounts of time.  God’s heart and life-transforming process of grace involves not only the blessedness of the pleasant, but the buffeting of the painful.  “Before I was afflicted, I went astray.  But now I have kept Thy Word” (Psalm 119:67).  Precisely applied applications of difficulty will be necessary if we are to become like a Savior so very different in character, nature and way than ourselves.  To switch metaphors for a moment, the refiner must burn away the dross if the silver is to shine forth in its purified beauty.  Indeed, every honest Christian heart will confess that much remains in us that is not sweet, and that does not shine.  Heat will be required to continue the process of conforming us to the image of Christ, and heat will be applied.  “We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22).

     If pineapples possessed a heart and a brain, I don’t suspect they’d find the dehydrator a very pleasant place (nor might they enjoy being eaten after the process!).  The same is true of born again believers.  The Lord’s oven, as it were, is not pleasurable.  The end result, however, will be glorious beyond all imagining.  In character, nature, and way, we shall be like the Lord

No comments: